BUTLER TWP — The events were different, but the results were very familiar for Laura Goettler.

Butler's junior swimmer tried her hand at the 50-yard freestyle and 100 butterfly in Friday's home meet against Mars and earned two victories in the Golden Tornado's 103-81 victory.

Goettler has won a combined three WPIAL titles between the individual medley and breaststroke, but found out prior to Friday's competition that she would be switching events.

“I've been dealing with a back injury and the events I swam tonight aren't as intense,” said Goettler. “I was just taking a bit of a break from the IM and breaststroke tonight.”

Most of Butler's swimmers recently returned from a training trip to Florida. It was while there that Goettler tweaked her back.

“She's day-to-day,” said Bocci. “We have a meet against North Hills (Thursday) and we expect her to be swimming her best events that night.”

Goettler met the district qualifying standards in both events Friday, but will definitely be swimming the IM and breaststroke when the postseason meets roll around.

“When it comes to Laura, it's all about March and chasing a state title,” Bocci added.

Goettler was one of three Butler girls to win a pair of individual events. The others were Rachel Ledford (100 freestyle, backstroke) and Savannah Holt (200 freestyle, breaststroke).

Mars sophomore Megan Smith is hoping to improve on a solid freshman campaign. Last year, she qualified for WPIALs in four events and competed in the IM and backstroke.

She won the former event against Butler with a time of 2:12.94.

“I barely missed making states last year in the IM,” said Smith. “It's driving me a lot this season. I've gotten better at the breaststroke and have already made the WPIAL cut for that. I will probably be swimming that event at districts.”

Butler improved to 2-0 while Mars fell to 3-2.

Boys Butler 90, Mars 65

Butler senior Zach Callithen has been to the WPIAL meet three times. This year, he wants to make it in a different role. He specializes in the 50 and 100 freestyles and placed a close second in the first to teammate Sam Deemer on Friday. Just .49 seconds separated the two.

“I've gone on relays, but making it in an individual event would mean a lot to me,” he said. “It's something I have been working for since my freshman year.”

Callithen also helped Butler's 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays to wins.

“He will be swimming in one of those at WPIALs,” said Bocci. “We have to decide which direction we are going to go.”

Bocci has seen a consistent progression from Callithen throughout his varsity career.

“He's gotten a little better every year,” he said. “It was a long process for him, but he has stuck with it and I think he is going to see the benefits from that.”

Butler's double winners included Alex Deemer (IM, 500 freestyle) and Ben Borvendeg (100 freestyle, backstroke).

Mars coach Todd Slobodnyak witnessed Andrew Pierre win district titles in both the 200 and 500 freestyles last season. So far this season, he sees no reason why his top swimmer can't repeat that effort.

Pierre won the 200 Friday with a time of 1:47.96.

“His in-season times this year are better than they were last year,” Slobodnyak said. “And once he's tapered, he's going to drop a lot of time.”

Butler moved its record to 2-0 and Mars dropped to 2-3.

The Golden Tornado host North Hills Thursday while Mars is off until visiting Seneca Valley Jan. 17.


Butler 103, Mars 81

200 medley relay: 1-Butler (Abbie Griffith, Laura Goettler, Rachel Ledford, Savannah Holt) 1:54.21

200 freestyle: 1-Savannah Holt (B) 2:04.91

200 individual medley: 1-Megan Smith (M) 2:12.94

50 freestyle: 1-Laura Goettler (B) 25.09

1-meter diving: 1-Dalayne Waterbec (B) 192.7

100 butterfly: 1-Laura Goettler (B) 59.23

100 freestyle: 1-Rachel Ledford (B) 57.86

500 freestyle: 1-Abbie Griffith (B) 5:22.47

200 freestyle relay: 1-Mars (Megan Smith, Sarah Hooper, Jenna Halenda, Caroline Stamper) 1:47.53

100 backstroke: 1-Rachel Ledford (B) 1:04.56

100 breaststroke: 1-Savannah Holt (B) 1:10.51

400 freestyle relay: 1-Mars (Sophie Huff, Grace Huff, Madeline Gagnon, Megan Hart) 4:39.75*


Butler 90, Mars 65

200 medley relay: 1-Butler (Sam Deemer, Zach Callithen, Ben Borvendeg, Alex Deemer) 1:45.6

200 freestyle: 1-Andrew Pierre (M) 1:47.96

200 individual medley: 1-Alex Deemer (B) 2:08.47

50 freestyle: 1-Sam Deemer (B) 23.94

1-meter diving: 1-Kevin Butler (M) 128.95

100 butterfly: 1-David Bocci (B) 55.0

100 freestyle: 1-Ben Borvendeg (B) 50.11

500 freestyle: 1-Alex Deemer (B) 4:59.6

200 freestyle relay: 1-Butler (David Bocci, Tanner Vietmeier, Zach Callithen, Ben Borvendeg) 1:35.2

100 backstroke: 1-Ben Borvendeg (B) 59.62

100 breaststroke: 1-Jacob Harsch (M) 1:21.24*

400 freestyle relay: 1-Mars (Andrew Pierre, Raghav Kalbhor, Hayden Silsby, Aidan Wolf) 4:01.6*

* Butler swam these events as exhibition and had the fastest time.